Richard Coeur de Lion and Blondel by Charlotte Brontë
Author: Charlotte Brontë
Richard Coeur de Lion and Blondel is a poem Charlotte Brontë wrote at the age of 17. She wrote it in a notebook she received from her father who left a reminder for her on the first page, “1833 All that is written in this book, must be in a good, plain and legible hand. P. B”.
In her childhood and adolescence, Charlotte spent much of her time writing stories, poems, and plays set in the imaginary worlds of Glass Town and Angria, which she created with her siblings. They usually wrote in self-made notebooks with small, illegible handwriting that was difficult to read. Patrick Brontë may have been irked by their minuscule handwriting and the amount they were spending in their imaginary worlds, prompting him to write the reminder on the first page.
This poem is not part of the Glass Town or Angria sagas but a standalone piece. The manuscript is now preserved by the British Library as a piece of Brontë juvenilia.
Synopsis of Richard Coeur de Lion and Blondel
The poem is about a legend surrounding King Richard I of England, also known as Richard the Lionheart or Richard Coeur de Lion for his bravery in war. In 1192, he was kidnapped and imprisoned in a castle in Austria. According to legend, a loyal minstrel named Blondel traveled from castle to castle, singing the first part of a song he and King Richard had composed together, until he heard the King’s voice responding, thus revealing his location.